Exploring the Derreen.

The River Derreen flows off the Wicklow Mountains in a south westerly direction, passing close to Hacketstown and Tullow, Co. Carlow before it joins the Slaney upstream of Aghade bridge. Running through tillage and pastureland in its lower reaches, the Derreen with its sandy, gravelly bottom is a prime salmon spawning tributary of the Slaney. One April morning above Rathglass bridge, with the river clearing after a flood I connected with a fresh run fish, only to be broken a short while later. I can still hear the slap of its broad tail and the hiss of line as 10.lbs of salmo salar took off down stream.

Downstream wet fly on the River Derreen, Co. Carlow, Ireland.

Today with a big high pressure sitting over Ireland creating clear blue skies, but still cold due to a north east breeze, I drove across country past Shillelagh and Clonegal to park up beside the old mill at Aghade bridge. Heading upstream I cast a team of spiders into various runs, eventually crossing the Slaney above a weir to fish the left hand bank due to the strong breeze in my face.

River Derreen, Co. Carlow, Ireland, trout tempted by a partridge and orange.

An odd fish showed along with a few parr. Reaching the Derreen confluence I proceeded to fish upstream for about three hundred metres. Again stepped weirs are in evidence, a legacy of the great salmon runs which hopefully will pick up in the future. Another trout and that was that. The water is still cold and fly life was minimal, give it a couple of weeks and it will be perfect for fishing dry.

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